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EKA Mobility, Mitsui, and VDL Groep to form Global OEM in India

EKA Mobility, Mitsui, and VDL Groep to form Global OEM in India

December 28, 2023 11:34 am

With a joint investment of over USD 100 million (~ INR 850 crores) in phases, the cooperation will position India as the global manufacturing & sourcing hub for electric vehicles.

EKA Mobility, a leading electric vehicles & technology company based in India, announced a partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Japan) and VDL Groep (Netherlands). This strategic cooperation marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the Indian automotive industry, propelling India toward becoming a global hub for sustainable transportation. The alliance is set to establish most cutting edge global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the region.

This is one of the largest and most significant partnerships in the new mobility segment in India bringing together the strengths and expertise of three leading automotive conglomerates in Asia & Europe to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative electric mobility solutions globally. Under the cooperation, EKA Mobility, known for its cutting-edge electric vehicles and comprehensive EV ecosystem, will receive significant and strategic investments from Mitsui, a global trading and investment company with a rich history of contributing to industrial innovation, and technological support & equity partnership from VDL Groep, a leading Dutch technology and manufacturing company. The combined expertise and resources of the three entities will usher in a new era of sustainable transportation and manufacturing excellence.

In a strategic collaboration, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. is set to make substantial financial investments in EKA Mobility, a move designed to facilitate the scaling up of EKA’s manufacturing operations and broaden its product portfolio. The partnership extends beyond mere financial support, as Mitsui commits to offering assistance to EKA in exporting to specific emerging markets and in establishing robust systems and processes. Notably, VDL Bus & Coach, a subsidiary of VDL Groep and a pioneering force in electric buses and coaches in Europe, will play a pivotal role in the alliance. By transferring technology, VDL Bus & Coach aims to empower EKA Mobility in producing electric buses tailored for the Indian market, thereby contributing to technological leadership in the region.

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This collaboration aligns seamlessly with the ‘Make in India’ initiative championed by the Indian government, underscoring a commitment to fostering local manufacturing and job creation. Beyond economic considerations, the partnership places a strong emphasis on sustainability, reflecting a shared dedication to environmentally conscious mobility solutions and a collective goal of reducing carbon footprints. In essence, this cooperation represents a multifaceted approach encompassing strategic investment, technological exchange, support for local manufacturing, and a steadfast commitment to sustainable practices, collectively contributing to the growth and advancement of EKA Mobility in the Indian market.

Dr. Sudhir Mehta, Founder & Chairman of EKA Mobility, expressed his views about the cooperation, stating, “This partnership with Mitsui and VDL Groep represents a significant step toward making India a global hub for electric vehicle manufacturing. We are proud to join forces with such distinguished partners who share our vision of sustainable, profitable & efficient transportation.”

Nobuyoshi Umezawa, GM of Mobility Business Division in Mitsui & Co. India: “Through the cooperation of EKA, VDL, and Mitsui, we aim to contribute to “Make in India” by leveraging EKA’s excellent engineering and local network, and VDL’s cutting-edge technological capabilities. Furthermore, we would like to utilize our Mitsui’s global network to promote exporting EKA’s competitive products to overseas markets and contribute to creating eco-friendly societies”.

Rolf-Jan Zweep, CEO VDL Bus & Coach: “We are delighted to partner with EKA Mobility and Mitsui. Although the basis of our high-quality development and manufacturing competences lie in north-western Europe, we see many opportunities in India, which is obviously a promising growth market. With this cooperation, we foresee especially many synergy benefits in the areas of procurement and development”. 

EKA Mobility is one of the commercial vehicle manufacturers approved under the Champion OEM Scheme & EV component manufacturing scheme of the Government of India’s Auto PLI policy. EKA is the only Indian company offering end-to-end design, manufacturing & technology of new energy vehicles from scratch in India. The company has set up a state-of-the-art research, development, engineering & innovation center in Pune, Maharashtra, and has significantly grown its order book, with more than 500 electric buses and 5000+ electric light commercial vehicle orders in the pipeline. All these vehicles will be completely designed & manufactured in India, at EKA’s proposed state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In last two years, the company has introduced electric city bus, staff carrier & school bus, 9 meter hydrogen fuel-cell electric bus, and is now all set to enter the last mile delivery with its range of e-LCVs designed & customized to suit Indian customers and businesses.

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